Nuno Tavares’ Arsenal shirt number as new signing aims to change worrying trend

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Arsenal have completed their first signing of the summer transfer window with Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares joining from Benfica.

The 21-year-old impressed with the Primeira Liga side last season, and it has convinced the Gunners to spend around £6.8m plus add-ons on bringing him to the Emirates.

Tavares is most comfortable in the left-back position, and he is expected to provide competition to Kieran Tierney, whose worrying injury record has seen him spend a lot of time on the sidelines recently.

As Arsenal confirmed the signing it was also revealed that Tavares will wear the No.20 shirt.

And he will be hoping to make more of an impression in North London than those who have recently donned the number.

Nuno Tavares will wear No.20

Its most recent occupant was the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi, who had the shirt for the entirety of his error-prone Gunners career before he joined Schalke in February.

Prior to that the more impressive Mathieu Flamini wore No.20 in his second spell with the club.

But it's fair to say the three players who took the number before the Frenchman will not exactly be remembered fondly by supporters: Johan Djourou, Philippe Senderos and Matthew Upson.

Tavares, then, will be hoping that the No.20 is not cursed, and that he can put in some more impressive showings wearing it than his predecessors managed.

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Speaking about the signing of Tavares, Technical director Edu said: “Nuno is a talented young player who was wanted by a number of clubs across Europe. He will provide strong back-up in the left-back position. We look forward to him growing and developing with us and becoming an important member of the first-team squad.”

Manager Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, added: “We welcome Nuno to the club. He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s.

"Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch. We look forward to Nuno’s arrival soon, his integration into the Arsenal family and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.”

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